Question Restoring my Laptop back to DOS from Win10

SroyC

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Aug 17, 2009
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Hello

I am planning to sell my laptop which originally came with Free DOS. Before selling, I would like to wipe off all the data including the Win 10 OS that I later installed and restore the Laptop back to Free DOS. I went through a number of Google search results, but all seem to point to a method of "clean installation" of Win 10 which starts automatically as soon as all drives are wiped.

My laptop has 1TB HDD, about 50% of that is occupied. There are three partitions on the HDD.

Could experienced members here suggest the most suitable method to achieve my goal?

Thank you all.
 

lvt

Commendable
Apr 19, 2021
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You should do the following thing while still in Win10 because the tools are widely and freely available.

  1. Wipe all space on the partitions except C.
  2. Destroy all partitions and merge them with C.
  3. Wipe blank space on C.
So now you have a HDD with only Win10, nothing else, your personal data have been wiped clean.

Next step is up to you, you could simply download and install FreeDOS from an USB drive.
 
Reactions: SroyC
Just go through the normal installation of freedos, it includes partitioning the drive which will destroy anything you have on the drive, you can also quit to dos from the installer and run fdisk by yourself, with only one drive you just go to option 3 'delete partition' and delete everything you find.
After that you just follow their guide.

So now you have a HDD with only Win10, nothing else, your personal data have been wiped clean.
A lot of personal data is stored on C, your pics or videos might be on a different drive if you set it up like that but anything else still would be on C.
 
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Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
Do you plan on using the Win 10 licence on another PC?

As it might be tied to laptop still and if you wipe it, it doesn't stop someone else installing win 10 and using the licence

Check in settings/update & security/activation
if it says next to activation - Windows is activated with a digital licence linked to your Microsoft account then they can't reuse licence.
If it says something else, then its still tied to mb and they could re activate it.

You can link it to an email address from the activation page if you want to use licence again.
 
Reactions: SroyC
Actually, you don't have to reinstall FreeDos. Wipe your disk clean, start installing Windows 10, and turn int off after first restart where it asks for country, keyboard etc. Check your Microsoft account to make sure this laptop is no longer there. The new owner has to accept the EULA, provide license key etc.
 
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USAFRet

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Actually, you don't have to reinstall FreeDos. Wipe your disk clean, start installing Windows 10, and turn int off after first restart where it asks for country, keyboard etc. Check your Microsoft account to make sure this laptop is no longer there. The new owner has to accept the EULA, provide license key etc.
Even then, the 'new owner' should do a full wipe and reinstall of whatever OS he wants.
No matter WHAT is on the drive.

For any used system, I know I would.

Given this system and its originality, I would wipe and install FreeDOS. Let the new owner figure it out after that.
 
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USAFRet

Titan
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It would be much more difficult to persuade potential buyer showing him/her the black FrerDOS than a running Windows. Sure, I agree the new owner should start fresh.
Depends on who it is selling to, and for how much.

I might be inclined to have the OS license included.

Either WIndows install and a license, or no Windows at all. Possibly a fully working Linux install.
 

TommyTwoTone66

Prominent
Apr 24, 2021
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Surely any laptop you buy to replace this one will already have a windows 10 license, so no need to transfer over the licence key? Or is the new laptop you're buying / bought also FreeDos?
 

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